With each passing year, there is a high chance a few veterans will hang their boots after long and successful NBA careers. Although some players are forced to retire early due to health concerns, others choose to after a successful career.
Age is the principal factor, as some players might fail to continually perform at the highest level to maintain their relevance in the league. Nat Hickey holds the record for the oldest player to feature in an NBA game. He retired at the age of 45. and featured in one game during the 1947-48 season for the Providence Steamrollers.
Physical wear is a clear indication of aging, as the body becomes more prone to injuries. Performing what ought to be regular tasks also becomes difficult as the body struggles to keep up with the rigors of the game.
For these players, it could be the final lap in what has been a long race. The 2021-22 NBA season could be their last campaign in the world's most recognized basketball league.
On that note, here are five active NBA players who could retire after the 2021-22 season.
#1 Udonis Haslem
Udonis Haslem is currently the oldest active player in the NBA, following Vince Carter's retirement in June 2020. The 41-year-old has played in the NBA for 18 years, and might suit up again for the Miami Heat.
Haslem's impact has been felt on and off the court, which is why the Miami Heat have continued to offer him a minimum veteran's contract year in year out.
If Haslem retires now, the only way fans would remember him would be for his brawl with Dwight Howard in May 2021, which led to him being ejected. The veteran will have one more season to redeem himself and exit the NBA on a high note.
#2 Taj Gibson
Taj Gibson just turned 36 a few weeks ago, making him one of the top ten oldest active NBA players. Although he is a restricted free agent after spending the 2020-21 season with the New York Knicks, the big man is still interested in having one last hoorah before a potential retirement at the end of the 2021-22 season.
As things stand, it is unclear where Gibson will spend his 2021-22 season. However, if he successfully inks a deal with any franchise, it could be his last run in the NBA.